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Tom Audiofile
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Jun 16, 2017

Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

My new Soundtouch 20 III sounds terrific and has been working flawlessly -- except for one small glitch: When playing Bluetooth sources -- phone or tablet -- there are periodic, brief (1-2 second) skips or dropouts of the audio.  This usually occurs within the first 3 - 5 minutes after startup with that particular device.  Then, the unit will play without a problem for maybe 45 minutes to an hour, even if the BT device gets moved from one place to another.  Sometimes I can play from a BT source without a hitch.  WiFi sources (Pandora, internet radio, Windows music library) all work perfectly every time.

 

I've tried keeping the phone/tablet close to the Soundtouch but even at distances of 2 to 3 feet this occurs.  The only other wireless devices in the house are a cordless phone (DECT 6.0) and a wireless weather station (don't know the frequency) but those are nowhere near the locations where I've used the Soundtouch.  I've tried shutting down the computer & WiFi while using the BT devides and still the problem persists.  And I've made sure that the phone is turned off when I'm using the tablet and vice versa.  FWIW, the tablet is an older Samsung Galaxy music player running Android 2.2 (yeah, I know -- ancient) and the phone is an Android 4.4.  Strangely, the phone, with its newer versions of Android & BT, is more of a problem than the tablet.

 

Anyone have ideas?  Thanks in advance.

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Tom Audiofile
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Jun 16, 2017

Re: Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

Author Accepted Answer selected by Tom Audiofile

Just an update for the benefit of anyone who might be experiencing a similar problem: The issue appears to be with my phone, an LG34C (Optimus Fuel).  When I turn the phone off, or at least disable its Bluetooth, I can stream BT from the old Android tablet just fine.  I've now enjoyed many glitch-free hours listening to my mp3 collection this way.  And I can also stream BT from the Dell desktop, located in an adjacent room and with the signal passing through 2 walls no less, with only an occasional hiccup.  So I guess the phone has some kind of Bluetooth interference issues.

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Brandon_M
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Dec 5, 2016

Re: Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

Hi Tom,

 

Thanks for the post.   Very interesting issue, as you've investigated pretty much every path I'd recommend.  The only other thing I could suggest is where is your wireless router located?  Wireless routers and Bluetooth operate on the same frequency (2.4GHz) so if it is within 5-10 feet of the router this could potentially cause issues.  The wireless phone you have operates on 1.9GHz, which is far away enough from bluetooth to not interfere, and from doing research on wireless weather stations they typically operate around 433MHz, which is even further away.

 

Do you have, or know anybody who has a newer Android or iOS device that we can test with?  Sometimes the older devices lack the processing power to encode and output Bluetooth audio, alongside running newer apps.

 

Thanks,

Brandon

Tom Audiofile
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Jun 16, 2017

Re: Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

Hi Brandon:

 

Thanks for the quick reply. 

 

Re: The router -- it is located about 12 feet from the Soundtouch, in an adjacent room.  The signal has to pass through two walls, i.e. there is a small closet about 3 feet deep separating the den (where the router is) from the living room ( where the speaker is). I also tried moving the Soundtouch into the dining room, which gave an additional 6 - 8 ft of distance.   As I said, the Wifi speaker performance is perfect with either arrangement.  On the theory that the router's Wifi signal might be messing with the Bluetooth, I shut down the router and cable modem completely and tried streaming BT to the speaker from both phone and tablet, with each BT device located 3' from the speaker.  There was no consistent improvement -- the tablet works with just an occasional dropout, and the phone worse.

 

I don't any other Android or iOS devices, but I did try moving my Dell all-in-one desktop computer into the living room (Win 10, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, all updates) and tried streaming BT to the speaker, with and without router active.  That worked about as well as the Android 2.2 tablet -- just an occasional glitch over several hours of play.  AND I also tried disabling Wifi at the speaker ("3" key and "-" volume key).  No change there either.

 

I can't think of any other source of interference in the house, other than a Lutron dimmer switch for the dining room light and a digital thermostat (hardwired).  I experimented with both of those on and off, with no clear difference.

 

This isn't a huge deal, as I don't do a lot of BT streaming, and when I do it's usually from the tablet.  It just sort of takes the edge off of an otherwise phenomenal product.  Thanks, and if you can think of anything else, please advise.

 

Best,

Tom

Brandon_M
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Dec 5, 2016

Re: Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

Hi again Tom,

 

Thank you for the detailed reply.

 

There are more troubleshooting steps to try, like moving the system to a different house or location (maybe a deck or porch outside), but they are leaning on the side of extreme.

 

Other than that, I would recommend contacting your local support center to arrange for service.

 

Thanks,

Brandon

Tom Audiofile
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Jun 16, 2017

Re: Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

Author Accepted Answer selected by Tom Audiofile

Just an update for the benefit of anyone who might be experiencing a similar problem: The issue appears to be with my phone, an LG34C (Optimus Fuel).  When I turn the phone off, or at least disable its Bluetooth, I can stream BT from the old Android tablet just fine.  I've now enjoyed many glitch-free hours listening to my mp3 collection this way.  And I can also stream BT from the Dell desktop, located in an adjacent room and with the signal passing through 2 walls no less, with only an occasional hiccup.  So I guess the phone has some kind of Bluetooth interference issues.

Brandon_M
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Dec 5, 2016

Re: Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

Hi Tom,

 

Excellent!  Thank you for posting your solution!  Glad to hear that the system is working well for you.

 

If you have anymore questions, please let us know!

 

Best Regards,

Brandon

Fabomx
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Aug 6, 2017

Re: Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

Hi everybody I have the same problem, all with IOS last version, iPhone 7, iPad mini, iPad Air, etc.

I tried everything, restore system, clean all devices in the SoundTouch.

Reading this post, I'm going to try change position of the wifi router, because it's behind the SoundTouch.

This is the second SoundTouch I bought and with both I have this problem.
Brian_M
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Dec 5, 2016

Re: Soundtouch 20 bluetooth dropouts

Hi Fabomx, 

 

I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing a similar issue. I would try temporarily disconnecting your router from power. If Bluetooth improves with the router disconnected, we know that this is the source of interference. Also, try the steps that Tom Audiofile tried above. If you have any other Bluetooth or wireless devices nearby, it would be worth temporarily disconnecting them from power to identify if there are any wireless interference issues happening. 

 

Thank you,

 

Brian